Ethiopia: Farmers group proves that planting trees can reduce temperatures (Daily Monitor)

| April 6, 2009

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Five years ago, the village of Anano was one of the hottest and driest places in Ethiopia. Droughts were frequent in this agricultural community located in the Great Rift Valley. Farmers ranked the inhospitable climate as the biggest challenge to production and productivity. But since then, the village has proven that sometimes farmers can control the weather.

Farmers in Anano have been planting trees on their homesteads. They are part of a Farmers Research Group investigating the effect of agroforestry on temperature. The results have been dramatic.

Meska Deressa is a researcher at the Adami Tulu Agricultural Research Centre, part of the Ethiopian Institute of Agricultural Research. He says that when the project was launched, the temperature in Anano was 32 degrees Celsius. Five years later, the temperature inside the agroforestry area has dropped by nine degrees. Relative humidity has also improved – increasing by 40 per cent.

Altogether, more than 50 farmers from four districts in the East Shoa Zone of southern Ethiopia participated in the agroforestry project. Now that the farmers have proven the power of trees to improve climate, there are plans to scale up the project in other parts of the country.

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